Study Regional Sciences from the Near and Middle East Abroad

Study Regional Sciences from the Near and Middle East Abroad

Hardly any other region appears as frequently in the media as the Near and Middle East. The region is of great international interest . It is based primarily on historical and economic interdependencies. Because of Germany’s responsibility for the acts of the National Socialists, the FRG has maintained close political and economic relations with Israel since the 1960s.

The international economy depends on the oil reserves in countries like Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Iran. At the same time, countries like Turkey or the United Arab Emirates are popular holiday regions that are associated with sunshine and oriental flair. Against this background, experts are in demand who are familiar with politics, the economy and the cultural history of the region.

Course content

According to, the courses in the area of ​​regional studies in the Near and Middle East or Middle East studies are still quite new in Germany. So far, they are only offered at a few universities .

They differ from the established courses of study in Arabic, Jewish and Oriental Studies in the following respects: There is not only an occupation with either the Arabic language and culture or the Jewish language and culture, but both areas flow into the course.

Set priorities

At most universities, however, students can set priorities and specialize in a region such as Turkey or a topic such as Judaism in the Middle East.

In addition, at most universities, students have the opportunity to choose a minor and thus specialize even further. Depending on the university, you can choose from subjects such as political science , history or communication studies .

In the bachelor’s degree

Language acquisition is initially the focus of the bachelor’s degree programs . The students decide on two languages ​​that they learn in the further course of their studies. Depending on the university, you can choose between Arabic, Turkish, Hebrew, Persian and ancient languages ​​such as Syriac or Greek . In language courses, they learn vocabulary and grammar rules, but aspects of geography and culture are always highlighted.

In the further course of their studies, the students then deal more intensively with their chosen region or focus . Depending on the university, the focus can be on cultural, historical, economic, social or political topics. The students then deal, for example, with the Middle East conflict, but also with Islam, post-colonial theories or the economy in the United Arab Emirates.

In the master’s degree

Most of the graduates add a master’s degree to their bachelor’s degree. This serves on the one hand to further specialize in content and on the other hand prepares for management positions in business or an academic career . The individual universities offer master’s programs with very different focuses.

There is a choice of courses with a linguistic focus, but also programs that focus on the politics, culture or economy of the Middle East. In most master’s courses, students also have the opportunity to learn a third foreign language .


Applicants should first and foremost be interested in the region to which they are devoting their studies. A certain talent for languages is also helpful in learning two foreign languages. Most universities do not require any language skills, but first knowledge of Arabic or Hebrew at the beginning of the course is definitely helpful. In addition, applicants must have a good command of English in order to understand the English-language specialist literature.

Career prospects for Middle East experts

The study of regional sciences in the Near and Middle East does not provide training for any specific occupational field . The choice of the minor is all the more important. Internships completed alongside your studies are also helpful in order to orientate yourself professionally and acquire additional qualifications.

With their language skills and their cultural background knowledge, graduates have a wide range of career opportunities. Many aspire to work for an international organization, an NGO, a foundation or another development cooperation institution .

Most of the graduates work there in scientific and advisory roles . With knowledge of Arabic, positions in the diplomatic service are also possible.

The inner-German migration policy has to rely on the expertise of Middle East experts. Those who prefer to work in the cultural field can, for example, work in museums and other cultural institutions related to the Middle East.

A journalistic activity is conceivable. In addition, graduates can work as translators or in the tourism industry. Master’s graduates are free to pursue a doctorate and pursue an academic career.

Stay abroad

A stay abroad in a country in the Near or Middle East is compulsory for students. On the one hand, it serves to improve language skills . On the other hand, a semester abroad gives students the opportunity to really experience and understand the culture of the respective country.

However, one or two semesters abroad are also recommended, because studying on-site opens up a new perspective on the subject. This can also be interesting in the context of thesis or research. In addition, the students have the opportunity to make international contacts that can prove to be valuable when starting their careers.

Study Regional Sciences from the Near and Middle East

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